Morning links: BYU basketball a top mid-major; Stockton, Malone ranked among best players without a ring

SB Nation’s Mid-Major Madness released its way-to-early mid-major basketball power rankings for the 2017-18 season, and the BYU Cougars came in at No. 5.

After mentioning the struggles in Provo in ’16-17, Russell Steinberg wrote, “The good news is that most significant contributors should return, led by Eric Mika, who scored 20-or-more points 15 times this season. The Cougars were one of the fastest teams in the nation, and should continue to be, making them, at the very least, entertaining. They’re probably looking at predicted third-place finish in the West Coast Conference behind Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, but with a few big non-conference wins, that just might be enough to get them back to the NCAA Tournament.”

The top two teams in the rankings also come from the West Coast Conference as Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 followed by Saint Mary’s.

Malone, Stockton ranked top 10 best players who didn’t win a ring

Alonzo Warond of Fadeaway World ranked the top 10 NBA players who never won a championship, and Utah Jazz legends, John Stockton and Karl Malone made the list.

Speaking of Stockton — who was ranked No. 5 — Warond said, “Stockton is (according to many, many experts) the best point guard in NBA history after Magic Johnson. His pass-first mentality and outstanding passing ability were greatly complemented by his great offensive skill and his suffocating defense, creating a huge dynasty alongside Karl Malone despite not being a starter from the very first day he made his debut.”

Warond had Malone, three spots higher, at No. 2, saying, “A dominant guy on both ends of the floor, the power forward was a scoring machine while playing lockdown defense and owning the boards on a nightly basis, and if it wasn’t for (guess who) Michael Jordan, he’d have a couple of rings to brag about.”

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